The Major Arcana
0 The Fool – Dionysus
A new phase of life begins, a risk must be taken a risk must be taken, a need to abandon the old and start something new, and in so doing embrace the ambiguity excitement and fear of unknowing. Old ways must be abandoned, risks, a leap taken.
A choice must be made, a choice of vital importance, care must be taken to make the right choice, but also a willingness to take the leap into the unknown.
1 The Magician - Hermes
New skills & potential available, opportunities and adventures unfolding. These are potentials not yet manifest, and so may appear as energy and an intuition of exciting if unexplored possibilities.
The ability to take from above and direct it through desire and into manifestation. A card of will, mastery, skill, wisdom and power. A great reserve of power is available, it is up to the seeker how to use it. The initiate.
2 The Empress - Demeter
Fertility, creativity, abundance, marriage or relationship. the onset of a more earthy phase of life. through this card we enter the realm of the body and the instincts, as a place of both peace and stagnation, life giving and also suffocating. The Great Mother.
Marriage, material wealth and sound understanding. Fertility for parents, farmers and artists. The ever renewing and re-creating force of nature, birth of and idea, or enterprise requiring great nurture. Potential fulfilled. Objective reality.
3 The Emperor - Zeus
A need to make something solid, to concretise an idea, to build something with a firm structure. A confrontation with the Father Principle in both positive and negative forms. you are being challenged to be effective, to make a stand to manifest something in the physical world. To effect your own authority.
Kingship, government, leadership. Control of others. Mental activity; the domination of intelligence over passion. The law of four, number of completion and wholeness; logos and the ordering aspect of intelligence. Ambition & worldly gain or achievement.
4 The High Priestess - Persephone
Thirst for knowledge of an esoteric nature, secrets to be revealed, potential abundant but as yet unfulfilled.
Heightened powers of intuition, an encounter with the hidden world, the womb of the unconscious. The unrevealed future, silence mystery, duality. Hidden influences at work. Mysticism. Initiation. Potential as yet unfulfilled, wisdom secrets to be revealed, intuition, natural insight.
5 The Hierophant - Chiron
Need for spiritual purpose, the search for a philosophy, or spiritual values.
Preference for ritual, creed, the outer forms of religion. Bondage to the conventions of society, the need to conform, to be socially approved. The esoteric side of all religions.
The beginning of an active philosophical pursuit of some kind. The modern hierophant may emerge as an analyst, psychotherapist, priest or spiritual mentor to whom we turn.
Formation of an individual vision of the spirit. Need for spiritual meaning in life.
6 The Lovers - The judgement of Paris
A love affair with a trial or attached. Necessity of a choice of some kind, usually in love.
Choice between diverse allurements; a struggle between the sacred and the profane. A card of attraction, beauty, harmony of the inner and outer life.
The responsibility of choice, and of examining the implications of ones choices.
7 The Chariot - Ares
Conflict within, struggles and battle, but potential for victory, resolution of quarrels. The struggles that result in growth. Confrontation with one's own competitiveness and aggressive drives.
Conquest, success for those engaged in the arts. Triumph over money difficulties, ill health and foes. Can suggest conflict of interests but also mastery. A card for those who achieve greatness. A card of mastery of the passions.
8 Justice - Athene
Need for clarity of mind, impartial judgement, and a balanced personality.
The need to weigh things up & for balanced, rational thought and impartial decision making, dispassionate justice.
Legal aspects with a favourable outcome. Trust. A balanced mind.
9 Temperance - Iris
Harmony within relationships, co‑operation resulting in happy partnership.
Implied here is the need for a flow of feeling in a relationship. We are challenged with the necessity of learning to develop a balanced heart & balanced emotions.
Good management, adoption, co-ordination, modification.
The individualisation of existence.
10 Strength - Hercules
Need for strength, courage & self discipline. Potential for moral victory and
mastery of life.
Collision with the lion within is inevitable and where a creative handling of one's rage and senseless pride is desirable. Courage, strength and self-discipline. Self awareness.
Spiritual power overcomes material power. The triumph of love over hate, the higher nature over carnal desires. Power of the good. Potential integration & individuality.
11 The Hermit - Cronus
A time for withdrawal, silent meditation and solitude. Patience is needed to confront ones inner world. The path of initiation, (virgo) inner knowledge and the seeking for truth in the right way.
Augurs a time of aloneness from the extroverted activity of everyday life so that the wisdom of patience may be acquired, & things worked out
12 The Wheel Of Fortune - the Moira
Change in fortune, new beginnings, a chapter in the life starting. The Wheel makes a new turn.
Good fortune, success, increase, an unexpected turn of luck. Life ever changing and ever remaining the same. The idea of a circle, a mandala, wholeness.
A new chapter is starting, the more you are aware of your power & destiny the clearer things will appear.
13 The Hanged Man - Prometheus
A sacrifice must be made to gain something of greater value, time in suspension, & leading to greater understanding.
The making of a voluntary sacrifice so that something of greater value may be acquired. Either an external thing or an cherished inner attitude.
Surrender to a higher Being causes a reversal in one's way of life. Wisdom, prophetic power, self sacrifice
Suspended decisions, a time of pause.
14 Death - Hades
The inevitable ending of something which has been lived out, transformation, new beginnings to follow.
Transformation, change. Sometime destruction followed or preceded by transformation. The change may be in a form of consciousness. Some times it may mean birth and renewal. An opportunity for a new life if one let go of the old. The pain that may accompany this card relates to the ability to let go & embrace the new, or just the emptiness!
15 The Devil - Pan
A confrontation with the inner world, All that is shadowy, shameful and base in your personality. Facing fears and inhibitions, including one's own darkness can foster growth, and to the release of creative energy.
Domination of matter over spirit. Sensation divorced from understanding. Illness, bondage to the material, violence, revolution, extraordinary effort, force. Black magic. The fall of man into separateness, finiteness. Falsehood, separateness. Promise of blocks & inhibitions removed & great growth & progress.
16 The Tower - The slaying of the Minotaur
Breaking down and/or overthrow existing forms, changing false structures and the necessity of finding true values which more accurately reflect who and what we are.
Conflict, unforseen catastrophe. Old notions upset; disruption that may bring enlightenment in its wake. The force of nature establishing the truth distorted by men. The defeat of the false and the triumph of the true.
17 The Star - Pandora' s box
Hope, courage, inspiration, faith & belief in a new & better life, often amidst difficulties. An augury of promise.
Unselfish aid will be given. Good health. Spiritual love. Optimism & joy.
Inspiration, a sense of purpose and renewal of life's forces & energy.
18 The Moon - Hecate
Fluctuation, uncertainty, confusion. Time of passivity rather than action.
Describes a time of confusion, fluctuation and uncertainty deep in the grip of the unconscious. A time of patience and waiting captured beautifully by T.S. Elliot.
I said to my soul be still and wait without hope
for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
for love would be love for the wrong thing: there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought; for you are not yet ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light and the stillness the dancing.
Imagination, intuition, attending to one's dreams. Also deception and secret foes. Dreads of the night. May suggest the need to attend to dreams & intuition rather than reasoning & logic.
19 The Sun - Apollo
Optimism, time of positive action, energy in abundance, a time if clear vision, energy & strength.
A time of clarity and renewed trust, of movement forward to know and to realise one's goal. Success prosperity happiness & true friends. Optimism & good cheer.
Attainment and material happiness. Undertakings successfully completed. Achievements. creative power, fire of life. The hero and his/her journey.
20 Judgement - Hermes the Psychopomp
Time for reaping rewards for past actions, time for reaching conclusions and
summing up situations. Final settlement of a matter.
Represents both the reaping the rewards of past efforts as well as a disturbing confrontation with all our evasions and self-betrayals.
Awakening, change of position, the end of a chapter in life, renewal. A change in personal consciousness which is now on the verge of blending with the universal.
Clear perception of the extent to which we have been able o follow our own truth. Resurrection, creative activity of nature. A time for receiving & renewal.
21 The World - Hermaphroditus
Success, achievement, attainment, the realisation of a goal or the completion of a cycle, and its inner integration. Completion of a stage.
Completion, reward, success. Triumph and successful conclusions in all undertakings. Arrival at the state of cosmic consciousness. Can mean also movement in one's affairs. The reaching of a goal that has been worked hard for.
The world as it is. The inner reality of things.
The Court Cards
Page of Cups, - Narcissus
Water, feeling in its most delicate and vulnerable form.
Birth of new feelings, fragile new beginnings in the world of emotion.
Time & space must be provided for new feeling to grow and develop. A new phase is approaching in which your feeling world must be nurtured and bought to maturation. Perhaps from relationship with another person or the birth of a child, literally or symbolically.
Knight of Cups, - Perseus
Water ‑ Mutable ‑ Pisces
Spirit of romance is about to enter your life, either as an upsurge of romance
within you, or through a person who encompasses the qualities of lover or
Perhaps also an artistic proposition – as herald of one's own emerging romanticism
Queen of Cups, - Helen of Troy
Water ‑ Fixed ‑ Scorpio
Will manifest through a person entering your life who possess a strong
perceptive nature and a deep desire to learn about the inner world, or
alternatively you are nurturing and developing these qualities within yourself. Either way the time is ripe for self discovery. The Queen of Emotions.
King of Cups, - Orpheus
Water ‑ Cardinal ‑ Cancer
The Qualities of this card are about to manifest, either through meeting with a
caring, concerned, nurturing person, or it may be that you have to develop
these qualities within yourself.
The King is master of his emotions & often found in helping professions. May suggest that it is time to truly get in touch with one's feeling nature.
Page of Wands, - Phrixus
Fire: The bearer of good news, a desire or stirring of creative growth.
The beginning of a new phase in which your creative world must be developed.
The Messenger may come in the form of an inspirational or artist person entering your life, or an opportunity will arise for you to develop creative talents through study or career.
Knight of Wands, - Bellerophon
Fire ‑ Mutable ‑ Sagittarius
The spirit of adventure is about to enter your life. This may signify a move of home or country, or it may infuse a spirit if enthusiasm in you through a
person embodying these qualities. These will in turn be stimulated within you.
Queen of Wands, - Penelope
Fire ‑ Fixed ‑ Leo
This may manifest through contact with a person embodying creative, imaginative
and intuitive powers or through the development of these qualities within
yourself. This Queen is full of the love of life, can successfully run a home & still find time to pursue her own interests. Well liked & versatile.
King of Wands, - Theseus
Fire ‑ cardinal ‑ Aries
Warmth, generosity and charismatic are the qualities seeking to manifest in your life, either through the development of these qualities within yourself, or through meeting someone in whom such characteristics are prominent. Beware however of being, or meeting, pushy, self obsessed or otherwise irritating types.
Full of ideas an with an abundant vision with total trust in his vision & intuition.
Page of Swords, - Zephrus
Air: Beginnings of intellectual development; gossip or idle talk may be
A new phase is about to begin in which you will develop your rational and
mental faculties. This may come through a person. A very strong person, not to be trusted, perhaps rumor spreading & gossip mongering.
Knight of Swords, - Dioscuri
Air ‑ Mutable ‑ Gemini
This heralds a time when the quicksilver qualities of communication and mental
development will stand out. However this is also a card of fluctuation and so
can be a time of sudden changes which disrupt the normal pattern of life. It
is likely to be mind expanding and progressive period; but the everyday
aspects of existence are likely to be led to disarray. This may be bought about
either by changes from within or from the meeting of such a person.
Queen of Swords, - Altanta
Air ‑ Fixed ‑ Aquarius
A meeting with an idealistic & loyal visionary may home into your relationship, sphere, or these qualities may be ripe to develop within. A stong and resiliant woman who can bear whatever sorror or tradgedy life meets out. Aquiring her ability to accept sufferring can be helpful.
King of Swords, - Odysseus
Air ‑ Cardinal ‑ Libra
Intelligence, charm & high principals, or logic & reasoning are the hallmarks of this time, either you will meet them without,or be called upon to develop them within. The kings strength of character, sense of fairness & justice do however need to be tempered with compassion.
Page of Pentacles, – Triptolemus
Earth: Beginning awareness of the value of material sense; slow and patient development.
A new phase is about to begin in which you will develop your material sense & side of your life. This may come through someone who comes into your life. An opportunity to make money, starting at the bottom.
Knight of Pentacles, - Arstaeus
Earth ‑ Mutable ‑ Virgo
Embodies many Virgoan qualities, particularly contentment with achievement.
A spirit of contentedness and earthy practicality are about to enter your life. This may be through inner qualities of perseverance or through contact with a person possessing such qualities. A positive outcome to something that has dragged on for long.
Queen of Pentacles, - Omphale
Earth ‑ Fixed ‑ Taurus
There may be a meeting with an affectionate generous, sensuous person, or you may need to develop some of these qualities within yourself.
Practical & materialistic she loves the fine things of life, can offer help of a practical nature.
King of Pentacles, - Midas
Earth ‑ Cardinal ‑ Capricorn
Wealth, ambition and material qualities become prominent now, and will either
be encountered in the form of a person you meet or you will need to develop
them from within yourself.
The king is generous with his riches & gladly shares with others – his is the example of contentment.
Ace of Cups Aphrodite
Number of beginnings & potential. Purest aspect of feelings and emotions. Receptivity and the upsurge of feeling and strong emotions, new relationships, love marriage, motherhood, the great joy & rewards of a loving union.
Two of Cups THE LOVER - Venus in Cancer
Meeting of Eros & Psyche.
Number of opposites, polarities offering a potential balance. Commitment to romance, partnership or friendship. Ideas are generated in partnership & co-operation. Also reconciliation of opposites and the resolution of quarrels.
Three of Cups ABUNDANCE – Mercury in Cancer.
The marriage of Eros & Psyche.
Number of growth & expansion, initial completion. Celebration, time of rejoicing, emotional growth & feeling of happiness & achievement. Conclusion of a happy matter & healing of wounds. Much work lies ahead, this is only the beginning.
Four of Cups LUXURY – Moon in Cancer
Jealousy & discontent.
Number of logic & reason. Here there is boredom, depression, discontent, resentment. Thus opportunities are not taken. Emotions are turned inward & there is a need to look at life in a fresh way and reassess things. Caught between the world of thought and action.
Five of Cups DISAPOINTMENT – Mars in Virgo.
Finds out the truth & is abandoned by Eros.
Number of uncertainty. Regret over past actions, loss or betrayal in love or marriage.
Something has been lost but something still remains. Look at what can be salvaged, find new alternates within the loss.
Six of Cups PLEASURE – Sun in Virgo
Remembers the past with nostalgia.
Number of equilibrium. Past effort may bring present rewards or an old lover may reappear. Something with roots in the past may be reconsidered, & past efforts bring present or future rewards. Or may mean lives in he past, does not pay enough attention to present & future potential.
Seven of Cups DEBAUCH – Venus in Scorpio
Psyche mus beg for assistance from Aphrodite.
Number of wisdom & completion of cycles. There is an exceptional choice to be made with many options open. Careful decisions must be made, and a choice must be arrived at if anything is to be achieved. Accompanying this confusion there is also an abundance of creativity talent & energy.
Eight of Cups INDOLENCE – Saturn in Pisces. Psyche must make the perilous journey to the underworld.
The number of regeneration, endings & beginnings. Leaving the past behind, abandoning a situation through disappointment or disillusion, perhaps relinquishing hope. Even though much has been invested in building up something, it is not right and should be abandoned.
Nine of Cups HAPPINESS – Jupiter in Pisces. Reunion.
Number of foundation before completion. This is the wish card, signifying the fulfilment of a desire of paramount importance. Emotional stability, material happiness & are all satisfied.
Ten of Cups SATIETY – Mars in Pisces.
Psyche gains immortality & joins Eros on Olympus.
Number of perfection through completion. Happiness, contentment and fulfilment, with a sense of permanence & future purpose, inspired as if from above. Much love is available both to give and to receive.
Ace of Swords Athene
Number of beginnings vital & vigorous. A card of strength in spite of adversity, an indication that out of apparent evil, good will come. An old order is about to change, a card of inevitable change and with that, great power, force and promise.
Two of Swords PEACE – Moon in Aquarius
Orestes finds himself between his warring parents.
Number of opposites, polarities offering conflict or balance. Stalemate; nothing can move or change, a situation of great tension. An impasse has been reached. Person does nothing at all, trying to ignore something. Need for courage so that a change can be made, for good often comes out of what appears to be a bad situation.
Three of Swords
Clymenestra & her lover murder King Agamennon.
Number of growth & expansion, initial completion. Quarrels & conflict, a period of stormy weather for relationships. Also relief that tension has been released. Sense of clearing the ground for something new amid the sorrow, for the "darkest hour is before dawn"
Flash of understanding need to work on difficulty in relationships with honesty.
Four of Swords Orestes in exile.
Number of wisdom & completion of cycles. A need for rest or retreat after stress & struggle, a time for convalescence & recuperation after physical or emotional tension & anxiety. A time for quiet, for healing and for introspection.
Five of Swords Apollo reveals the truth about Agamemmons murder.
Number of uncertainty. Pride must be swallowed, & limitations accepted, before further progress can be made. Person is banging there head against a brick wall after taking on something too big. This card advises acknowledging limitation and proceeding in a new direction.
Six of Swords Orestes sets sail for Argos to carry out the will of Apollo.
Number of equilibrium. A period of calm after great anxiety, release of tension, peaceful journey towards smoother waters, and harmony prevailing once again. A moving away from difficulty toward more peaceful times. A literal move or journey.
Seven of Swords Orestes returns at night to murder his mother.
Number of wisdom & completion of cycles. A need for prudence, evasion & avoidance of direct confrontation in order to reach an objection. A time for diplomacy and charm and tact since direct confrontation will be of no use here.
Eight of Swords The full implications of his dilemma dawn on Orestes.
The number of regeneration, endings & beginnings. A fear of moving out of a situation of bondage, paralysis, a no win situation. Restrictions brought abut through one's own fear & indecision, there is a need for fortitude and hope here for this will not be so for ever
a sign will come to show the way and then there will be important decisions to be made.
Nine of Swords Orestes is driven mad.
Number of foundation before completion. A time in which the mind is tormented by fears of impending doom. Often though, the fear of difficulties is unfounded. Although there is a difficult decision to be made or situation to face the fear is worse than the outcome.
Ten of Swords Athene calls a halt to Orestes Suffering.
Number of perfection through completion. The end of a painful situation or state. There emerges an ability to see a situation clearly. An end of something, a relationship or circumstance or a false way of seeing a situation. A clearing away of the old.
Ace of Wands Zeus
Number of beginnings vital & vigorous. An upsurge of creative energy, great potential for success in a new business, a new undertaking, new foundations with plenty of ambition & potential to progress & succeed.
Two of Wands Chiron has revealed his birthright to Jason.
Number of opposites, polarities offering potential for resolution. Courage and initiative available to overcome all obstacles. There is a change in the air & feeling of restless- ness. Promise of success through strength and vision. Initiative overcomes obstacles.
Three of Wands Jason is inspired by a quest for the Golden Fleece.
Number of growth & expansion, initial completion.A stage of initial completion of a creative project, with ideas looming on the horizon. Efforts are rewarded in this card of satisfaction & challenge, things have been achieved but there remains much yet much to be done.
Four of Wands Jason celebrate the completion of the ship.
Number of wisdom & completion & solidity of cycles. A time to pause for celebration after hard efforts. Satisfaction & rewards that come after labour. A pause in activity and a tranquil time of rest. Holidays may be due or a time of relaxation.
Five of Wands Jason does battle with the dragon guarding the Fleece.
Number of uncertainty. A time of struggle, petty obstacles constantly appear & cause short term delays, petty obstacles, difficulties & annoyances. Which once overcome can change things for the better. In the short term though, it feels as if nothing can work out,
Six of Wands Jason triumphant, has defeating the dragon.
Number of equilibrium, harmony & balance. Public acclaim, promotion, qualification, recognition for work and effort. This is a card of achievement, acclaim & fulfilment of hopes & wishes in one's career. Can mean promotion, effort put to a good cause.
Seven of Wands After the dragon more battles ensue.
Number of wisdom & completion of cycles. Stiff competition must now be faced. Renewed determination, courage & perseverance are necessary. However a successful change in profession is likely. Card of knowledge & incorporates skills in teaching or writing.
Eight of Wands After battles, smooth sailing & swift winds home.
The number of regeneration, endings & beginnings. A period of fruitful progress after delay or struggle. A time for activity, marks the end of period of delay or stagnation. A busy exciting time ahead, suggesting travel and moves.
Nine of Wands The final stage of conflict before reaching his goal.
Number of foundation before completion. Strength in reserve can provide enough energy to win the battle, although resources are exhausted. Card of strength & determination. Seeker is in a very strong position, suggests victory through courage & endurance.
Ten of Wands Jason reaches his goal, but in going on loses all.
Number of perfection through completion. There is danger implied in taking on more than you can cope with. Suggests that a burden is soon to be lifted, or problem soon to be solved. However the oppression, physical, mental & emotional, here is often self-imposed and much be done by the seeker to lighten the load.
Ace of Pentacles Poseidon
Number of beginnings vital & vigorous. Material achievement is possible, financial aid may be available for the beginning of a new enterprise. The successful founding of a business or venture, prosperity and security firmly based. A lump sum, money or gifts.
Two of Pentacles Daedalus the master craftsman embarks on a new career.
Number of opposites, polarities offering resolution & balance. Need to be flexible within times of change. Change & fluctuation in financial matters, but harmony within the change. The necessity to keep several things going at once & skilful manipulation achieves success.
Three of Pentacles Deedalus receives acclaim for his first achievements.
Number of growth & expansion, initial completion & fruit of partnership Initial completion of work, a basic structure is built which will requires the finishing touches. Approval or recognition fro others & sense of achievement can be deservedly experienced.
Four of Pentacles Dedalus realises that his nephew is more talented.
Number of wisdom & completion of cycles. There is a danger in clinging too tightly to what one has earned. Nothing is lost but nothing can be gained either. A risk might need to be taken in order to get things moving again. There is a "stuckness" here.
Five of Pentacles Daedalus flees Athens leaving behind everything.
Number of uncertainty. Loss & financial hardship may be ahead, on a deeper level loss of esteem, of faith, perhaps inner direction in oneself & of life. Pay attention to detail, financial, spiritual & emotional for there is a warning that without due care something important may be lost.
Six of Pentacles Daedalus finds a benevolent friend in King Minos.
Number of equilibrium & harmony. Help from a generous friend or employer, a situation in which there is money or good fortune to be shared. Financial affairs ma be put on a stable footing. Present prosperity should be shared.
Seven of Pentacles Daedalus is confronted with a new dilemma.
Number of wisdom & completion of cycles. A difficult decision must be made, between material security and uncertain new opportunities. This card is a warning not to stop for too long, past efforts will only be successful through consistent efforts.
Eight of Pentacles Daedalus must start over in Sicily.
The number of regeneration, endings & beginnings. The apprentice, training or starting out anew in another profession. This a talent card. Possibility of employment in a new & skilled field. Hard work & practical ideas form a stable basis for building up a new & profitable career in both financial & emotional terms.
Nine of Pentacles Able at last to enjoy the fruits of his labours.
Number of foundation before completion. A card of great satisfaction and pleasure, reward for effort and material benefits. Suggests one who is at peace within & doesn't need constant companionship to feel contented. Material benefits are promised.
Ten of Pentacles An old man able to put down roots and found a dynasty.
Number of perfection through completion. Financial stability & foundation for home & family. Suggest continuity & service down through the family. Indicates a materially settled way of life, favourable for buying & selling of property.